Ag economist previews USDA reports

A livestock economist says he expects this week’s Cattle on Feed report to show more contraction in the cattle industry. University of Missouri’s Scott Brown tells Brownfield he expects On Feed numbers to be flat at best.  “For the first few months of this year we’ve been about flat for On Feed numbers, but that will be below year-ago levels,” he says. 

Also out this week — the USDA’s Livestock Slaughter numbers and he says there’s one specific area he’s watching.  The USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report details the number of head, live weight, and dressed weight of cattle and calves in the U.S. to determine total red meat production.  “I am looking at what Livestock Slaughter looks like in terms of beef cow slaughter,” he says.  “We’re seeing some signs of slowing down.  Will producers try and build the herd some this year?  I think the answer is probably not, but we’ll keep watching that slaughter data as well.”

Livestock Slaughter numbers come out on Thursday at 3PM ET/2PM CT and Cattle on Feed numbers come out Friday at 3PM ET/2PM CT.

Tune into the Weekly Livestock Market Update on Friday for an expanded analysis of both reports.

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